According to a study carried out by consultants IRI on "Fresh products after COVID and the challenge of innovation", which has been presented within the framework of a technical conference organized by Aecoc, Spanish consumers were no longer as reluctant to buy fresh food online during the state of alarm.
According to the report, fresh product sales on the online channel are currently growing by more than 55% compared to the previous year, even though they still account for "a small share of the total sales." It also reveals that the fresh product category is contributing the most to the growth of consumer spending, in contrast to what happened in March, when the fear of shortages caused consumers to focus mainly on canned and packaged foods.
IRI consultant Catalina González said that this type of foods “have overcome the barriers that existed before the lockdown and are already being purchased more regularly online."
In Spain, the importance of fresh products, which account for more than 40-45% of total spending (well above other countries) was one of the reasons given by experts to explain the slow takeoff of electronic commerce in the food sector. In this sense, the study highlights how the best-selling products in the fruit and vegetable category see their value increase "by over 150% in the online channel."
IRI specialists have said that fresh products have "great potential" to continue growing in terms of sales, both offline and online, in the current de-escalation scenario, given that consumers are more aware of concepts such as health and well-being and, at the same time, are spending more time at home than normal.
Another trend detected by the consultant is that the sale of fresh products in trays and packaging is growing quicker than that of the same products in bulk, precisely because of the perception that plastic provides safety.